Mark your calendars for our 2017 Plein Air Competition and Exhibition! We're pleased to announce that Kami Mendlik will be our 2017 Juror! Kami will be teaching Composition and Color in the Landscape: September 16 - 17. Learn more about Plein Air Grand Marais here.

A Sampling of Upcoming Classes:

Click each image below to learn more.

Entry Points:

Activities for any skill level, artist talks, and demonstrations that are free or nominally priced. All artist talks and demonstrations are free unless otherwise listed. Goodwill donations are welcome. 
Saturday Demos at 1 pm | Art Colony

August 5 | Glass Painting
August 12 | Clay 
August 19 | Watercolor Wax Resist
August 26 | Clay
Artist Talks:

August 5 |  12 pm | The Elements and Properties of Design | Art Colony
August 9 | 4:30 pm | Public and Collaborative Sculpture Projects | Johnson Heritage Post 

Opportunities to Connect:

Grand Marais Writers Guild:

3rd Thursday of each month | 6 pm |  Grand Marais Public Library |  For anyone who writes anything. For more information contact Rose Arrowsmith DeCoux at:  218-387-4011 
Arrowhead Sketchers:

Every Thursday | 5 - 7 pm. | For anyone who enjoys drawing, outdoor painting or photography.

August 3 |  Lehr Residence:  4676 Cascade Beach Road, Lutsen, MN
August 10Cathi WIlliams Farm:  85 Fall River Road, Grand Marais, MN
August 17 Betsy Bowen Studio area:  301 1st Ave W, Grand Marais, MN
August 24Hovland Dock:  Hwy 88,  Hovland, MN
August 31 |  Cook County Whole Foods Market, 20 East First St., Grand Marais, MN

Questions? Contact the Art Colony:  218-387-2737 .

Call for Artists:

Grand Marais Street Banner Design | Due: Rolling Deadline 
The local group, Art 'Round Town, will be soliciting seasonal designs for downtown Grand Marais. If interested in being considered, contact Ann Mershon at: amershon@boreal.org

Cook County Courthouse Seeking Art | Due: Rolling Deadline
Display your work at the Courthouse. Learn more here

The Minnesota State Arts Board | Due: August 4 
Seeking applications for artist initiative grants in literary, performing, and visual arts. Learn more  here

Jerome Foundation | Due: September 15
Apply for this $60,000 fellowship to advance your visual arts career. Learn more here

Baggage Building Arts Centre | Due: September 30 -  October 3 (several art drop off dates)
Seeking submissions for their printmaking exhibit. Email  bbac.angie@gmail.com for more details.

Featured Instructor: Kami Mendlik

Kami Mendlik | www.kamipolzin.com

Kami Mendlik is an oil painter and founder of the St Croix River School of Painting in Stillwater, Minnesota, where she teaches the fundamentals of representational painting with a special emphasis on color. Kami is a signature member of American Woman Artists and has exhibited her work nationally, including in the American Impressionists Society National Juried Exhibition, and at the 2015 Oil Painters of America National Juried Exhibition, St Augustine, Florida.

Kami's Upcoming Class:
Composition and Color in the Landscape  September 16 - 17

Interview with Kami:


AC: You began the St. Croix River School of Painting three years ago on 16 acres near Stillwater, Minnesota. Please share with us about that venture.

KM: The school started with a vision. I envisioned a place; a place of beauty, serenity, and inspiration; a place where artists could come to be inspired, feel comfortable, and learn the craft of painting; a place with a healthy balance of both structure and encouragement so students could reach their highest potential. I wanted to create a place where students felt welcome and there were no boundaries as to what could be accomplished from the soul to the canvas. I wanted kindred spirits to come together fully immersed, and gather to learn and practice their craft in the landscape that we love in the Midwest, removed from the business of life. 

In 2008, I started The St. Croix River School of Painting, which was founded on the concept of honoring the river and its surroundings. My foundation for the school is based on the fundamental elements of painting with an emphasis on the study of the properties of color – hue, value, temperature, and saturation. In 2014, I started my search for a property in the St. Croix Valley to make a permanent home for the school and to honor my vision for “a place.” Once setting my intentions on this vision, I found a 16 acre, 160 year old farm with a hip roof barn and loads of potential that had been sitting on the market for some time. Luckily it was difficult for the average buyer to see that potential. It took six months and a million and one obstacles including, obtaining a COC to run a school in a rural setting, selling the home in Stillwater my children and I were living in, moving from my downtown Stillwater studio location, and trying to convince countless lenders that this would work, only to be rejected time and time again, before we obtained the property. Then the plan needed to be a well-oiled machine to get this nearly abandoned place in the country both livable for my family and functional for the already running school and art studio! Those first two years could be a book in itself, but the school and property is now thriving. I hold both weekly semester classes and workshops on the grounds and in the studio all through the year with guest artists coming to teach special workshops.   

AC: Just before you come to Grand Marais to jury Plein Air and teach you will be part of the exhibition, "Artists for the New Century" at Bennington Center for the Arts. What does this honor means to you and what is the exhibition all about?

KM: When I received the formal invitation to be a part of this museum show I was in complete disbelief! This is an honor I didn’t even imagine happening. Artists were hand-selected by the editors of 5 prominent fine art magazines: American Art Collector, Art of the West, Fine Art Connoisseur, PleinAir Magazine, and Southwest Art. The editors were asked to select artists whose work they have noticed to be consistently strong, and who they feel deserve to be recognized for their talents.


These artists will each send in a piece they feel is indicative of their body of work, and pieces will be exhibited at The Bennington from September 9th to December 23rd, 2017. Of the work exhibited, each magazine will select one artist to be featured with a full-page ad or editorial. Their goal is to feature strong artists who will continue to be important in the art world for years to come.

AC: St. Croix is a central motif in your work and is only one of a handful of national riverways. Tell us about the exhibition you participated in, in October 2016, showcasing your work and homage to the river, in honor of the National Parks 100 year anniversary.

KM: In preparation of celebrating this significant anniversary, the Phipps Center in Hudson, Wisconsin, asked me to involve my school, The St Croix River School of Painting, and come up with some project with my students to exhibit in the fall of 2016 during their National Parks National Juried Exhibition.  The project ended up as an exhibit called: From Plein Air to The Studio. The students invited to participate in this project represented diverse levels of experience, however each is a constant and forever student, devoted to the study of color and light. 

The participating artists spent the summer painting the river from life, exploring and studying its ever-changing nature and effects. These studies were done en plein air, then used as information and inspiration to create the studio pieces. The painters may have decided to work more literally from the field study resulting in a studio piece that closely resembles the original piece, or the studio piece may have evolved into a concept that was simply inspired by the plein air piece. Either way, the process of painting on the river from life greatly influenced the studio pieces. Ending as a dynamic exhibit with both the studio and plein air pieces hanging side by side! 

AC: What can students expect to experience in your class?

KM: I love working with painters and helping them work through whatever hurdle they might currently be stuck on in their work. A workshop away from home is such a great way to immerse oneself in the complete study of painting while being challenged and nourished with like-minded people hungry for the same thing. In my workshops I focus on giving students some solid concepts and exercises that they can apply on their own to continue to strengthen their paintings after the class is over. The mornings will start with a short lecture and demonstration of the days focus. Then students will have plenty of time to paint while I walk from easel to easel critiquing their work. 

The primary fundamental focus of the two days will be on simplifying the averages of color to make the strongest composition in the landscape. The best landscape painters are constantly making important edits and select decisions when composing their concept. What a painter puts in a painting is not as important as what a painter leaves out in a painting! While learning to simplify, the emphasis will be on the properties of color: hue, value, temperature and saturation. Learning and strengthening these tools will continue to help your work become stronger.

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